On March 15, 2020 I started a google doc: COVID -19 Journal. The first words came easily: Dear Isaac and Charlotte. I addressed the words to my two children. I was also flooded with the emotions and details surrounding our lives. I wrote fast and furiously putting the thoughts down. The journal provided a way to set my feelings free as the world rapidly changed.
I wrote about my worries, the news headlines, the shutdowns, the uncertainty.
But, I also wrote about our days. The ordinary ways we measured time from the comfort of our home.
The time to slow down, the way we fixed our front yard, the vegetables we planted and picked, the hours we spent walking the neighborhood, the afternoons at the pool, the coffee shop curbside visits for smoothies and coffee, the zoom calls, the books on the couch, the assortment of baked goods coming from our oven, the take-out from local restaurants, the picnics in our front yard.
Sure, I wrote in moments of fear, sadness, and anger. But I also wrote out of something greater and more hopeful — love.
Looking back over these 40 some pages I see the same refrain over and over. After I’ve detailed our days and the updates that surrounded the pandemic, I ended every letter to Charlotte and Isaac in the same way.
You are loved. I love you.
It’s all there was.
It’s what remains.
It’s what sustains.
Love will see us through.
Kimberly Knowle-Zeller is an ordained ELCA pastor, mother of two, and spouse of an ELCA pastor. She lives with her family in Cole Camp, MO. You can read more at her website, follow her work on Facebook, or sign up for her monthly newsletter.